2020 hopeful Michael Bennet: 'I don't think I'm out of step' in saying socialism is not the answer

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetPress: Another billionaire need not apply Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal Overnight Energy: EPA watchdog slams agency chief after deputy fails to cooperate in probe | Justices wrestle with reach of Clean Water Act | Bipartisan Senate climate caucus grows MORE (D-Colo.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, said on Sunday that his dismissal of socialism as a solution for America is not out of the mainstream for the Democratic Party.

"I don't think I'm out of step," Bennet told ABC’s “This Week.” "I think we have 230 years of being the longest-lived democracy on the planet. That's something we need to preserve."

 

 

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Bennett made the comments in response to a viral moment in which his fellow Democratic presidential candidate, former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperKrystal Ball dismisses Rahm Emanuel's 'Medicare for All' criticism as a 'corporatist mantra' Trump says remark about Colorado border wall was made 'kiddingly' Colorado governor mocks Trump for saying he's building wall there MORE, was booed at the California Democratic Convention over the weekend for saying a candidate espousing socialism could not defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE in 2020.

Quipping that Hickenlooper’s primary error was “denounc[ing] socialism in San Francisco,” Bennet conceded that “we have had 40 years of no economic mobility in the United States … 90 percent of the American people have not shared in the economic growth over the last 40 years.”

For those not reached by the benefits of economic growth, Bennet said, “those periods of economic growth have acted as a recession, and as a result, they can’t afford the basic components of a middle-class life.”

A poor American’s chances of advancing to the middle class, Bennet added, are lower now than they have been in generations.

“That is tearing at our democracy, and if we don’t figure out a way to address it… we’re going to have real problems,” he said, saying that candidates need not embrace socialism to believe in the idea that “everyone has a share in our prosperity.”

Bennet, who is on the moderate end of the Democratic primary field, made headlines last week when he volunteered to work with one of the faces of the progressive flank of his party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez calls for Stephen Miller to resign over leaked emails Ocasio-Cortez meets Sasha Velour following DC performance Sanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia MORE (D-N.Y.), and one of the most conservative Republican senators, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition Trump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges On The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war MORE (R-Texas), on legislation to ban former members of Congress from corporate lobbying.